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How Can LTE Enable Modernization of Public Safety Communication System?

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By Christoph Fitih

There is little doubt that the mobile/wireless technology continues to change the way people communicate and conduct business on the African continent.

 

It is now time to use the same technology to transform the public safety systems. Last year itself Africa witnessed many natural disasters, including floods in Nigeria, mudslides in Sierra Leone and fires in Kenya and South Africa.

 

Efficient critical communications systems ensure that the first responders can communicate with relevant organizations faster and more reliably.

 

Long Term Evolution (LTE) is emerging as a technology of choice for the concerned authorities to transform their mission-critical systems.

 

While the earlier public safety networks relied on voice, a key advantage of LTE is that it can transmit large, high-quality images and videos.

 

Live streaming of emergency situation or access to reliable location information can provide critical insights ensuring faster access to relief in the affected area. It can be the difference between life and death.

 

LTE also helps in bringing down complexity and cost of public safety networks. Public Safety usually involves coordination between multiple agencies, which might be using different systems.

 

LTE enables interoperability with legacy networks allowing various agencies to communicate with each other without a glitch. It is also able to manage prioritization of the users in a secure manner.

 

Further natural disasters usually lead to network outages, but solutions like Bring-Your-Own-Coverage and Network-In-Box deliver coverage anywhere.

 

This allows first responders to set up their own broadband communication network and not let the network outage affect the rescue work. The plug-n-play and ease of deployment ensure that the communication is not affected by a crisis.

 

Network-in-box consumes much less batteries making it long lasting and sustainable in the event of emergency. A portable LTE public safety solution allows connectivity between people and things leading to better control of available resources during a crisis.

 

LTE for Public Safety satisfies the demanding requirements of a public safety network, such as resilience, security, and quality of service. It is time Africa starts to leverage these advantages to save lives and provide reliable access to public safety services to the affected.

 

Christoph Fitih, is Director – Africa Sales, Parallel Wireless

 

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Omobola Seeks for Digital Revolution and End to Arbitrary Charges

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Dr. Omobola Johnson, Former, Minister of Communications Technology has urged the Federal Government to put in place robust digital revolution framework to sustain the gains of the telecom revolution for Nigeria to remain relevant in the now emerging digital world.

 

The Former Minister believes that failure to curb lingering cases of multiple-taxation, vandalism of telecom infrastructure by agencies of (mostly States) Government, may lead the country becoming digitally irrelevant.

 

Dr. Johnson who delivered the keynote address and participated in a panel at the maiden edition of Nigerian Telecom Leadership Summit #NTLS, organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, decried the draconian and extant laws being used by state governors and other agencies of government to spin revenue from telecom operators.

 

 

She aligned with the industry operators that full implementation of Executive Order in this regard will reverse the trend.

 

According to her, an Executive Order will compel the Nigerian Communications Commission to be more forceful in terms of regulation, adding that any negative impact on the telecom infrastructure will, ultimately impact on the economy.

 

“The Federal Government should give Executive Order to tackle out multiple-taxation in the country’s telecom industry. It is a matter of talking to the Governors,” she noted.

 

Omobola, who spoke on the summit theme: ‘Repositioning the Nigerian Telecom Industry for the Future; Prospects and Challenges’, argued that the idea of engaging the State Governors Forum to step down on multiple-taxation has not worked in the past and may not likely work anytime soon.

 

“For me, the NCC must not be afraid to innovate or experiment. The regulator must take some risks to innovate. They are in a unique position to give action to state Governors not to temper with telecom infrastructure, as it enables other sectors of the Nigerian economy,” she added.

 

Nodding in agreement, the Chairman of the Association of Licenced Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, said engagement with the Governors has been ongoing for years and it has not worked, emphasizing that the regulator needs to be more strategic to do something different.

 

He said the multiple taxation and arbitrary closure of telecom sites has always affected the quality of service, which will turn impact on other sector.

 

“ATM will not work if you close telecom sites. Security agencies will not be able to track criminals if the sites are closed. The telecom​​ sector service other sector of the Nigerian economy, so any negative impact on telecom infrastructure is a negative impact on the entire nation,” he argued.

 

 

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Nigeria’s mobile phone penetration hits 87 percent

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L-R: Stanislaus Martins, Head, Growth and Partnerships, Jumia Nigeria, Omolola Onasanya, Head, Vendor Operations and Experience, Jumia Nigeria and Olukayode Kolawole, Head, PR and Communications, Jumia Nigeria, at the launch of the 2019 Nigeria mobile report held on Friday in Lagos.
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Statistics released on Friday by Jumia shows that mobile phone penetration in Nigeria grew from 162 million subscribers in 2017 to over 172 million mobile subscribers in 2018, accounting to a penetration rate of 87 percent of the population, representing a 6.4 percent growth increase

 

The report also shows that over 112 million Nigerians had access to the internet in 2018, representing 56% of the population, resulting to an increase of 14.32 percent year-on-year from 2017.

 

The growth according to the report is being fuelled by the availability of lower points phones, which paved way for more Nigerians to own a device.

 

Omolola Onasanya, Head, Vendor Operations and Experience, Jumia Nigeria, speaking at the launch of the 2019 Nigeria Mobile Report, in Lagos, stated that over 112 million Nigerians had access to the internet in 2018, representing 56 percent of the population, which she attributed to the availability of lower price point phones.

 

According to her, “In Nigeria, there were over 172 million mobile subscribers, accounting to a penetration rate of 87 percent of the population.

 

“This figure represented a 6.4 percent growth increase, compared to 162 million subscribers in 2017.

 

“Over 112 million Nigerians had access to the internet in 2018, representing 56 percent of the population.

 

“This accounted for an increase of 14.32 percent year-on-year from 2017. The availability of lower price point phones still remains the major driver of smartphone penetration.

 

At the end of 2018, there were over 36 million smartphone users, representing a penetration of 18.37 percent.”

 

Onasanya noted that the number of active social media users rose from 17 million in 2017 to 24 million at the end of 2018, which represents a 12 percent penetration of the country’s population.

 

Stanislaus Martins, Head, Growth and Partnerships, Jumia Nigeria, giving an overview of the Country’s Economy Growth stated that the mobile telecommunications sub-sector contributed 7.4 percent to the country’s total GDP in 2018, compared to 5.5 percent in 2017, while Services sub-sector of the ICT sector contributed 77 percent out of the 7.4 percent contribution to the country’s GDP in 2018.

 

He noted that Nigeria’s GDP growth witnessed an upward swingfrom 0.8 percent in 2017 to 1.9 percent at the end of 2018, which fell below the projected 2.3 percent, majorly due to variations in prices of crude oil and its output.

 

He attributed the economic growth witnessed in 2018 to non-oil sectors such as Agriculture, Information and Communications Technology, Manufacturing, and Transport Storage.

 

“Nigeria’s GDP growth leapfrogged from 0.8 percent in 2017 to 1.9 percent at the end of 2018.

 

“However, the growth, although significant, was below the projected 2.3 percent, majorly due to variations in prices of crude oil and its output.

 

The economic growth, for the first time, was hinged on non-oil sectors such as Agriculture, Information and Communications Technology, Manufacturing, and Transport Storage.

 

“It is worth mentioning that the non-oil sector grew by 2 percent, the highest growth rate recorded since the economic recession in 2016.

 

“The Information and Communications Technology sector, which subsumed the digital economy, grew from its negative growth of 1 percent in 2017 to become the second fastest growing sector with a growth rate of 9.7 percent in 2018”, he added.

 

Earlier, Olukayode Kolawole, Head, PR and Communications, Jumia Nigeria, said that  about 44 percent of mobile subscribers in Nigeria are using 3G technology and 4 percent are using 4G technology as against over 18 percent 4G penetration in South Africa and 16 percent in Angola.

 

Kolawole revealed that projections have shown that Nigeria’s mobile broadband penetration will rise to 55 percent of the population by 2025, with 70 percent having 3G connectivity and 17 percent having access to 4G networks.

 

He said, “It is predicted that Nigeria will contribute 4% of the estimated 700 million new global mobile subscribers, making it the only country in Africa marked with a significant contribution to increasing mobile penetration in the world.

 

“By this quota, it is expected that 28 million new mobile subscribers will emerge from Nigeria between 2019 and 2025, that is, an average of 7 million new mobile subscribers annually, if the country is to meet its quota.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glo Gains 78% of New Data Subscription in GSM Sector in March – NCC Report

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Nigeria’s second largest telecommunications operator, Globacom, garnered 78 percent of new data subscriptions in the month of March, 2019. The operator gained nearly one million new subscribers in the month.

This was disclosed in the latest statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the month of March 2019. According to the statistics, Globacom gained 950,115 new internet users, taking its total internet subscriptions to 28,436,386 from 27,486,271 recorded in February, 2019.

Two other operators, MTN and Airtel, also featured marginally on the gainers’ list in March. Airtel added 351,657 new internet users, while MTN added 13,552 subscribers. 9mobile, on its part, lost 166,542 users in the month under review.

Overall internet users in Nigeria increased to 115,938,225 in March from 114,725,357 recorded in February, according to the NCC statistics. This indicates an increase of 1,212,868 new subscribers in one month.

Globacom has been on ascendancy in terms of acquisition of new internet subscribers in the last one year ostensibly due to the consistent improvement in the operator’s data services.

The company has the widest 4G LTE coverage in the country, and the technology ensures more reliable and faster internet usage experience. Globacom also has the most attractive data plans in the market, with packages that appeal to both high and low data users.

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